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Buyouts to be Offered by United States Postal Service
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The United States Postal Service, which is incredibly cash-strapped, has plans to offer buyouts to close to all of its 45,000 mail handlers. This is part of a plan to consolidate the agency’s operations at 140 mail processing centers next year. The agency lost $3.2 billion in the first three months of this year and is planning to move mail processing duties from smaller sites to minimalize yearly costs.

According to Mark Saunders, a spokesman for the USPS, the agency will offer its full-time mail handlers $15,000 in two payments if they retire early or simply leave the agency. The mail handlers are those who load the mail trucks and who transport mail containers from one processing center to another. Part-time employees could also see incentives to leave the agency based on the amount of hours they work.

  
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“The agreement with the Postal Service is intended to provide a financial cushion, and added peace of mind, for mail handlers who might be prepared to move on to the next chapter of their lives by leaving the Postal Service,” the National Postal Mail Handlers Union said on its website.

Saunders said that the agency will have to cut its workforce by 150,000 employees by 2015. The Postal Service has said that closing and consolidating facilities through 2014 will eliminate close to 28,000 jobs and save the agency $2.1 billion per year. Saunders did not offer an estimate as to how many people will accept the buyout this year but he did say that the change ‘will not affect mail service.’

Close to 21,000 postmasters will be offered buyouts by the Postal Service before 2012 ends, according to the agency. The original plan to close thousands of post offices across the country was throw out and the agency will instead reduce the amount of hours at 13,000 offices across the country. Those 13,000 offices are some of the smallest post offices in the country.

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